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About Einstein

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    Salisbury Hill
  1. Thanks for the reply. The trouble is my son has never been statemented and goes to main stream school. He is very bright and academic which makes it really hard to convince the DWP that he is in fact special needs. His problem are much more apparent outside the home or at home. I contacted the NAS and spoke to a lovely man who suggests that I appeal against the decision and even take it to a tribunal. He also said that schools report often make the mistake of explaining to the DWP all the things that a child CAN DO as opposed to WHAT THEY CAN'T DO because that is how they praise pupils naturally. I have cut and pasted the email reply from the NAS and hopefully it will help others with a similar problem or situation: Further to our conversation of this morning, the issue of unsupportive school enquiry reports is one that I receive very frequent enquiries about. The basic problem is that DLA is a benefit that concentrates exclusively on negative aspects of behaviour and functioning, and why it is a very distressing form to complete, so when a decision maker receives some information that accentuates the positive it is often used as a justification for reducing or refusing the benefit. This is not always the school's fault either, sometimes they just get completely the wrong end of the stick and will emphasise what a child can do, as opposed to what their difficulties at school are, simply because they are understandably used to praising their pupils achievements etc. When making a reconsideration or at appeal stage, here are some points you may wish to consider in relation to the school report: Obtain a copy of the school enquiry form from the DWP or the school itself if they have a copy and go through it carefully, commenting on anything you disagree with and expanding on areas where they have mentioned concerns. Ideally, it is best if a staff member who knows the child well can back this up with a more narrative explanation of what a child's difficulties are at the school (the school enquiry form is very brief) Mention if there would be a more suitable person at the school to complete the form if it was done by someone without a detailed knowledge of your son and/or ASD's. Mention that a very common characteristic of children on the autism spectrum is that they may behave markedly differently in the very structured environment of a school in comparison to their home lives. DLA decision makers are civil servants, not medically trained so they may well not be aware of this as they do not specialise in assessing claims for specific conditions/ages. That a school day is not a full day and that the care component should be judged on a child's attention and supervisory needs over a full 24 hour period. The lower and middle rates look at the need for attention and/or supervision for an hour a day and on frequent occasions through the day respectively. It is entirely possible these needs can be demonstrated either side of the school day in the morning and evening. Also, schools cannot possibly comment on a child's night time needs which leads to possible entitlement to the high rate of the care component unless a child is in a residential setting. Following on from this, that in relation to the low rate of the mobility component this looks at the need for "guidance and supervision on unfamiliar routes" and again, schools will rarely, if ever see children outside of the school gates. So, it is wrong to base a decision on this particular component based on this, and parents evidence should be the one that is taken into account. There is a piece of case law (decisions from higher level appeal bodies which can set precedents) which mentions the difficulties with judging care and mobility needs based on school evidence. Though very long, and not in relation to a child with autism the key paragraphs are as follows: "The school report in this case was similar to school reports obtained in connection with disability living allowance claims in other cases such as this, in that it failed to identify any specific supervision needs. Such reports are sometimes used by decision makers as a basis for rejecting the evidence of other professionals concerned with the care of a child, and in this case actually led the tribunal to say that they rejected the evidence of a consultant community paediatrician who was treating the claimant (wrongly described by the tribunal as the claimant’s general practitioner). Although a school report will very frequently contain valuable evidence in a claim for disability living allowance by a school-age claimant, it is necessary to have particular regard to the nature of the school environment when evaluating such evidence in relation to the evidence of other witnesses. Young children at school have to be more or less continually supervised for the school to function properly, so that a child with a disability may not need supervision over and above that which is normally given to all other children while attending school. However, children with disabilities may need supervision beyond that needed by other children when outside the school environment in order to avoid substantial danger to themselves or others, and it is that supervision which needs to be considered when deciding entitlement to care component. Evidence from a school should therefore be considered along with all the other evidence concerning a child’s care needs in deciding whether the claimant can safely be left unsupervised and whether the child requires substantially more care from another person than children of their age would normally require". The reference number for this case is CDLA 3779 2004 (you can see this in fill by visiting the Commissioners website, http://www.osscsc.gov.uk/aspx/default.aspx). This is a very commonly quoted piece of legislation when disputing DLA decisions and because of that, I am unsure how effective it is. Case Law is sometimes bought up at tribunal stage . If writing to the DWP at reconsideration you may wish to mention something along the lines of "Having taken Welfare Rights advice I understand that the Social Security Commissioners have in the past questioned the validity of school enquiry reports in assessing DLA entitlement and that this information should be taken in conjunction with all other available supporting evidence and not solely relied on or taken out of context". Though, this is of course, entirely up to you to decide. I do, of course, wish you the best of luck and do feel free to contact me either by phone or email if you require further information regarding this matter. If the case does go to tribunal, the following is a very good guide as to the procedure: http://www.advicenow.org.uk/advicenow-guid...getting-enough/
  2. My son was diagnosed with Asperger's when he was 4 1/2 and I have been receiving DLA and carer's allowance. I had to reapply way back in February this year as his payments were due to stop on 20/7/09 (today!!). He turned 10 on 18th July. However, the DWP wrote to my sons school and they said that he is brilliant and doing really well and the DWP based my whole application on what the school have said! I'm so frustrated! I am appealing against their decision because my sons needs haven't changed! They haven't taken into account all the difficulties he has to deal with in everday life in the wider community not just at school which is a controlled, structured environment . My son's needs haven't changed they are the same now as they were in January. Whenever I speak to anyone at the DWP I just get put through to some idiot in a call centre with no Asperger's knowledge and just reads whats on the screen! AAAARRRRGGGHHH Can anyone help or has anyone else been through a similar experience? I even got intouch with the Doctor who originally diagnosed my son. She sympathised with my situation but only deals with new diagnosis so wasn't much help. I am going to see my GP this afternoon and will ask him if he could write a medical report for me as I need someone professional to support my claim.
  3. My son has collected many things over the years. Like one of the previous replies he has collected power rangers etc, Thomas the Tank engine toys, light sabres, Dr Who toys, toys. What I hate are the comic collections such as Harry Potter Chess Pieces, Crystals, Dogs etc as he starts collecting them and getting really into it then loses interest and the are about �4 a time and woe betide us if we get rid of them!
  4. Some days I feel like the only way to get through to my children is to shout at them to get them to do anything I say. It seems the only way. My nerves can't cope and I feel there has to be another way. I have a whole shelf full of parenting books and they say time and time again to remain calm at all times which I find impossible. Getting them to get dressed, put on their shoes, come to the table to eat can take anything from 1/2 and hour to an hour! How do cope with stress? I do try and leave enough time to get ready but somehow its never "enough" if you catch my drift. A bit of a ramble!
  5. My daughter is 4 1/2 and a pain! She fights about everything too. She is a "normal" child. Her older bro (7) has AS so I think she thinks she can get away with some of his behaviours. Your not alone! Misery likes company right. By the way what does "NT" mean?
  6. Thanks for the reply! Socks are a problem for us too. They have to be very very soft and soaked in fabric softener. If he can feel a lump or bump they have to come off. He is so fussy! I know what you mean about a tatty uniform. I bought some new school trousers the other day as the crotch went in a pair and he kicked up a fuss as they were too loose round the waist even though I could adjust them to his size. He wanted them "exactly" the same as his old pair. My husband find this whole thing bizarre and thinks he looks like a geek when he goes out. In some ways I do try and understand and sympathize as I know he feels comfortable and at ease in his school uniform but on the other hand other kids are beginning to notice and I want to teach him whats acceptable.
  7. Hi! I havent been on this site for ages but my son is 7 and wears his school uniform all the time even at weekends and its becoming a real problem as he gets strange looks from people. We went on a camping weekend recently as of course he had to wear his school trousers and school sweatshirt the whole time! All the regular kids were in "normal" clothes ie jeans and t shirts etc. Yesterday we went to his school fayre and he was in the tug of war team and he looked weird being the only one in school uniform and the other kids were asking him why he was in his school clothes. Dominic always dresses as a character. At the moment he is Luigi (from Mario games). He insists on wearing a green baseball cap and braces! Which looks even stranger over his uniform. He has a whole wardrobe and chest of drawers full of "regular" clothes but he refuses to wear them. Also, on the VERY rare occassions in the past when he has worn other clothes it has to be plain and tops have to have no logo or design on which is vertually impossible to come across in the High Street. Help!!
  8. I didn't really know how to title this post. Here is the "problem". My son has Asperger's and likes to dress up as a Character. At the moment he is dressed up as a Jedi Knight: school trousers, black hoodie, black belt tied round his midrif and a lightsabre in his hand. He won't wear anything else! He is 7 so obviously he has to wear school uniform and he's fine with that but as soon as he comes home from school he gets changed into his "Jedi" costume and woa betide if it is in the washing machine! Some kids have laughed at him wearing his school trousers on weekends. He has a whole wardrobe full of brand new jeans, sweatshirts, jumpers etc but he just says "no thanks" to anything I suggest. Not so long ago he was Mario and walked around in a pair of blue waterproof dungarees, red baseball cap, red t-shirt and white gloves. He even drew a moustache in perminent ink! Anyone else's child like to dress up and not wear conventional clothes. On holiday this summer he wore: this is the strangest combo: shorts with his underpants on the outside, t-shirt and a bucket on his head. He was telling everyone he was Bucket Boy!
  9. Dominic joined Beavers last January and couldn't wait to get invested and he wore his Beavers uniform with pride. He went every week all last year and always came home full of enthusiasm and excitement on what he learnt that day. Each week they covered a different topic such as Chinese New Year, Road Safety, The Great Wall of China, they had a Mad Hatters Tea Party in March and in April he went on his first Parade..... Ever since September he has refused to go. He's not telling me what happened to make him change his mind. The Leaders are nice and the other children are friendly so its not that that's the problem. He's saying that its boring! How can learning all about the World and different Countries, Customs, Traditions and Religions etc be boring?? He always comes home with such cool stuff. Once they learnt all about Chinese food and had a go at using chopsticks! I don't get it! I haven't forced him to go at all and always make Beavers sound exciting but he is like a broken record "Sorry but I don't want to go anymore, I've quit" I spoke to the Leader a couple of weeks ago to let her know whats happened and to try and shed some light to whats changed and she can't put her finger on it either. She said she'd put a note in the register to say that Dominic will be absent for a couple of weeks and to try again after the school holidays at the end of October. I'm so sad about this. I really thought Dominic would love Beavers then move on to Cubs and eventually Scouts and learn some real life long skills.
  10. I find it really helpful to show my son the Legoland website and map of the park before we go. That way he has some idea of what its like and what to expect. Whenver we go on holiday we show him where we will be staying on the website. You could do that and show him what sort of room he will be staying in, where he will eat his meals, the playground etc etc. Planning ahead is the key! Have fun!
  11. Dominic's favourite is definately Cartoon Network. He adores Kids Next Door, Ed Ed and Eddy, the Boom Crew. I'm not keen on Cartoon Network I think there is too much violence and bullying on it. Fortunately Dominic hasn't picked up any bad habits from it yet!
  12. My 6 year old son has Asperger's syndrome and every now and again he gets "obsessed" by a particular tv programme and has to watch it time and time again. At the moment it is "Kids Next Door" from Cartoon Network, Ed Edd and Eddy, The Boom Crew and Chowlin Showdown (something like that anyway). Its beginning to dominate his life at home and it dominates his every topic of conversation! Does anyone else's child get "fixated" by a particular programme or TV Character. A few weeks ago it was Star Wars and he "had" to have every light saber in ever colour and model on the market and now they are collecting dust in his bedroom!
  13. I have real problems getting my son to try new food. He just won't even try anything. He just like plain food like plain rice or pasta without any sauce or anything. Is this normal for children with AS? What do you feed your children? Does anyone have any recipes they would like to share? I have run out of ideas!
  14. Hi there! I'm new! I'd like to introduce myself. I have a 5 year old son who has recently been diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome. I am sooooo glad that I have found this site! It makes me really happy to be able to "talk" to people who understand and who can offer help and advice. I have loads of questions to ask so you will probably see me around the boards!
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